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Title: Project Nexus
Chapter: Nexus (Part II)
Rating: T
Fandom: TGWTG/ Spoony Experiment
Character(s): Nostalgia Critic, Nostalgia Chick, MarzGurl, Spoony, Linkara, Doctor Tease, Doctor Block, Doctor Insano, Professor Celluloid, Malachite, Nurse, Cinema Snob
Pairing(s): none, as of right now
Warnings: AU. mild language, violence

Disclaimer:Any recognizable characters that appear in this fic are property of their respective contributors at ThatGuyWithTheGlasses , therefore I do not own them, nor do I intend any disrespect toward either the character or the contributor portraying them. Also any concepts/ideas borrowed from Power Rangers/Super Sentai are property of Saban and Toei, respectively. Any other properties mentioned/used are also property of their respective owners.

A defiant cry rang through the town square as a battle erupted for the second time that day. The few remaining Synthspecators that had not been absorbed by Tegon’s spell surrounded the Rangers as their leaders charged at the group. 

However, this time, the reviewers were not depending entirely on pure luck to carry them through this battle. The morph had done more than just provide them with new outfits and increased energy. It had also had some sort of effect upon their neurological structures as well, increasing what knowledge they knew of martial arts and other self-defense techniques.

Snob let out a furious, beast-like growl as he swung at Critic and MarzGurl. Critic countered by landing a series of timed kicks upon him. While some of the kicks had hit successfully, Snob had managed to block one of them, pushing the Red Ranger away. However, this attack had given the Blue Ranger the time she needed to land a few punches on the reviewer-turned-monster.

Nearby, Spoony and Linkara squared off against Devafen and a handful of the remaining Synthspectors. It was almost like a well-choreographed dance as the two ducked and weaved around the attacking faceless mooks. The cat-woman, taking advantage of their distraction, hissed as she threw another round of exploding darts from her fingertips.

            Smoke darkened the air, obscuring the two from her sight as the tiny bombs exploded in a flash of sparks and fire. She grinned to herself as she imagined the two men getting caught in that explosion. There was no way that they couldn’t have gotten hit by at least one of those attacks, she thought.

            Her grinned faded, replaced with disbelief as the Yellow and Green Rangers leapt through the rapidly clearing smoke, flying at her with a pair of twin flying punches. She grunted as she picked herself off the ground.

            “So,” she said, summoning her razor-claws “You wanna play like that, eh? Well, you’re going to find out that this cat has some sharp claws!”

            With another feral hiss, she charged at the gamer and the comic reviewer, wildly slashing at them with her claws. Sparks flew from the cuts in their suits as the two were sent sprawling backwards.

            Meanwhile, Tegon had lured Chick just slightly away from the rest of the fight. The Pink Ranger silently breathed a word of thanks to her parents for making her take a couple gymnastics classes when she was a child as she cart-wheeled her way out of one of the lizardman’s sword slashes. She countered by throwing herself at Tegon with a front-flip, kicking him in the chest as she landed.

            Growling, the lizardman picked himself up, taking another swing at the female reviewer. Quickly, however, she rolled out of the way of yet another attack.  The lizardman growled furiously as the Nostalgia Chick kept narrowly evading his attacks. 

            Once more, he attempted to strike her with his sword. However, this time, Chick, having grown annoyed with being at a slight disadvantage, had picked up a sharp spike-tipped piece of a fence that had been severed in half by Tegon’s last attack. Deftly, she swung the iron bar at her attacker.

            A loud clank of metal on metal rang sharply over the cries of battle as the iron bar impacted with Tegon’s mask. The mask fell off of his face and onto the ground below with a clatter as Chick looked on, stunned. The iron pike that Chick had used had carved a rather vicious looking cut down half of his face. Blood flowed from between his fingers as he clutched the wound with his clawed hands, staining the concrete below with crimson.

            “I’ll make you pay for that, human!” Tegon roared furiously as he rushed at a very startled Nostalgia Chick, swinging his sword with reckless abandon.

            Even with magical healing, they were both certain that it would leave a rather brutal looking scar. But, even if it hadn’t, they were both more than positive that Tegon’s fury with her wouldn’t fade even after the scar had faded.  How dare this insolent girl—this human girl—be allowed to possibly defeat him? How dare had she been able to elude him so many times, and yet manage to wound him?

            Back with Critic and MarzGurl, sparks erupted from their suits as they were hit with exploding magical playing cards summoned by their transformed co-worker. A string of expletives escaped Critic’s lips as he shakily got to his feet.

            “Oh, I get it,” MarzGurl said dryly as she dusted herself off “Playing cards; Card Shark. Haha, cute.”

            As the two resumed their battle poses, they soon found themselves being joined by their other three companions, who had been chased over toward the Red and Blue Rangers in order to regroup against their enemies.

            Malachite’s two generals and their monster companion too had regrouped, forcing the two dueling parties into a standoff. Their eyes were locked onto one another’s like hawks centering in on the kill. They watched each others’ movements, waiting for even the slightest clue to what their next move might be. Subtle signs of both parties growing fatigue began to manifest themselves; a slightly slouched positioning in their posture, the quick heaving of their chests as they gasped for air.

            “We need to focus our attack on Snob,” Critic said, “Maybe we can figure out how to break this spell on him.”

            “How?” Chick asked, “We don’t even know exactly what that spell did to him. Outside of making him really strong, ugly and want to kill us, that is.”

            “I know,” Critic replied, “But if we beat him, maybe he’ll return to normal?”

            “Or,” Spoony countered, “We could end up killing him. We can’t take that risk.”

            “We don’t even know if Snob’s still in there,” MarzGurl said, “And if he is, we have no idea how much of him is tied up with this freaky spell thing.”

            “Well,” Critic said, “We have to do something! We can’t just let him stay like that. Unless any of you have any better plans.”

            “I’ll contact Dr. Insano,” Linkara said raising his wrist, “He and the others might be able to figure out something based on his energy patterns.”

            For what felt like the third time that day, the Rangers held their breaths, waiting for Insano to answer their call. As with the last time, the two skipped the formalities as the reviewers began to explain the situation to the mad-scientist.

            A tense silence hung in the air between them as Insano frowned, a troubled expression etched into the corners of his mouth as he studied the readings, trying to make sense of the abnormal readings that appeared there.

            “It seems,” the mad scientist said, bringing up a few graphs for them, “That there is some sort of energy field that’s manipulating Snob’s own energy. However, the distortion seems to be localized within a specific spot.”

            “Like an energy core?” Spoony asked.

            “That must have been that weird ball of light we saw,” MarzGurl guessed.

            “So,” Critic said, “We just need to figure out how to destroy the spell’s core, and Snob’ll be back to normal, right?”

            “Exactly,” Insano replied, “….We think.”

            “Yeah,” Chick said, crossing her arms, “But, need I remind you guys that Snob absorbed the spell-core? How are we supposed to destroy it without accidentally blowing Snob to smithereens as well?”

            “That shouldn’t be a problem,” Insano replied, as a fox-like grin spread across his face, “We figured that something like this was likely to happen, so we’ve been working on something that would manage to eliminate most of the spell-core. It’s still untested, however, so we can’t be sure how effective it’ll be.”

            “We don’t have any other choice,” Critic replied, “Send it in.”

            “Alright,” Insano said reluctantly, “I’ll have Doctor Tease upload it to your morphers through the subspace transport. It’ll probably take a little time, though.”

            “That’s okay,” Critic said, “We’ll try to keep him busy for a while. But, try to hurry it up, okay? We can’t keep fighting these guys forever.”

            The mad-scientist said nothing as he disconnected from the call. The tiny screen that had just moments ago served as a visual link between dimensions, now displayed a progress meter that was slowly filling. Beside it, a numerical reading counted the current percentage of the weapon that had been uploaded.  At the moment, Critic noted with dismay, the number was rather low and moving at a steady, but moderately slow pace.  From what he could estimate, it’d probably take roughly two to three minutes before it fully uploaded.

            Their enemies, having grown increasingly bored with waiting for the reviewer-rangers to attack, charged at the group, firing whatever projectiles that they could summon in the short distance across the concrete town square. A few of the blasts had hit, sending the reviewers slamming backwards into the wall of a brick building.

            However, they quickly recovered and now also rushed at the villains. This time, instead of splitting up, they attacked as a team, circling Snob and his cohorts. Devafen and Tegon, as well as the few remaining Synthspectors rushed ahead of Snob, setting up a guard between him and the reviewers. 

            While their defense was effective from keeping all five from ganging up on Snob, it had not managed to block all attacks. If Devafen slashed at Critic with her claws, it’d give either Chick or Spoony the opportunity to sneak past, briefly engaging in combat with the shark-creature, before they were thrown out again, leaving MarzGurl or Linkara (provided that they weren’t under another attack, themselves) the chance to tag in and land a free hit before Tegon or one of the Synthspectors noticed.

            As he weaved past an attacking Synthspector, setting himself up to exchange a few blows with Snob, Critic looked down at his morpher. The progress bar now held at just a fingernail’s width of fifty-percent.

            Only another minute, he tried to reassure himself as he countered one of Snob’s kicks with a rather brutal kick of his own, only another minute.

            That minute, it seemed, was a rather deceptively disguised miniature eternity, as the battle raged on. Sweat began to form up underneath their helmets and suits, uncomfortably reminding them of the strain this was starting to put on their enhanced forms.  If that didn’t remind them, the ache of bruises, cuts and burns surely would fill in the blanks.

            They were lucky, they believed, that they were currently morphed. From their estimate, the battle had been raging on for twenty minutes, or longer, with no obvious winners to be determined. In their normal forms, they were untrained and not quite in the world’s best shape. It would have been unlikely for them to even have lasted this long, they thought.

            Finally, with a sigh of exalted relief, the remaining minute had passed, and the weapon was ready to be uploaded. The tricky part now, Critic realized, was figuring out what kind of weapon it was and how to use it.

            The battle had driven the reviewers together, pushing them out of the circle that now was reshaping itself into a mob-like formation. The air in front of the reviewers began to shimmer and glow as Critic pressed a key on his morpher. With a flash, a large cannon materialized, hovering in the air before them as if to say “Physics hasn’t quite caught up to me just yet, but you better catch me when it does”.

            Without really questioning it, the five gathered around the cannon, catching it as it floated to the ground. The device hummed with energy as it charged, drawing on the energies of those wielding it. Carefully, they aimed the device waiting for it to fully charge, as well as for the right opportunity to strike.

            “Target locked on, and we’re fully charged,” Critic said, reading a monitor attached to the back of the cannon, “Standby to fire.”

            The other for nodded as they waited for the exact right moment for a clear shot. Within a matter of seconds, they found it as there was a momentary break in formation, leaving Snob vulnerable to attack.

            “Fire!” Critic commanded as the five triggered the cannon.

            Five orbs of fiery energy, one in each of the Rangers’ colors, simultaneously barreled from the cannon with such force that it was all the reviewers could do to keep their feet planted firmly on the ground. 

The villains, stunned by this massive collection of energy that merged into one larger ball of white-hot light, merely stood their eyes wide in shock as the orb collided with the monster-form of the Cinema Snob. 

The shockwave that resulted from the explosion, however, did not allow the villains to stare dumbly for long, for it had blasted them off of them two feet into the air, and about six feet away from the impact zone.

Nervously, the reviewers held their breaths as the cannon’s fire erupted. They hoped that whatever damages the explosion had done, that Snob had at least managed to survive it. Or at least that it left something of him behind once it cleared.

Much to their relief, the light faded, revealing their co-worker, once more as his normal self, collapsing onto the concrete below.  Their anxiety no longer able to be contained, the five dismissed the cannon, and rushed to the fallen reviewer’s side, forming a barrier around him, just as Tegon and Devafen began to stir again, recovering from the shockwave.

However, the barrier seemed unnecessary as that neither of the humanoids drew their weapons. Instead, they merely glared at the reviewers with a threatening gaze as they clutched their wounds.

“You may have won this battle, humans,” Tegon said, his voice laced with acidic malice, “But that was just one victory. There will be other battles”

Devafen slashed the air with a glowing hand, ripping a glowing tear into the sky behind them. With one last reproachful glare, the catwoman and her lizard-like accomplice stepped through the rip in time-space.

            “Yeah, that’s right,” Critic called after the retreating enemies, “you better start running. And tell that Harry Dresden cosplayer you call a leader that next time, if he wants to fight us, he better do it himself, instead of sending a bunch of two-bit minions.”

            However, his call fell upon empty air as the rip in time-space blinked out of existence, leaving only the five morphed reviewers and their unconscious friend in the empty town square. 

            “Critic, honey” Chick said, shaking her head, “If you’re going to deliberately try to tempt fate like that, you mind not getting the rest of us involved, okay? Some of us here don’t like the idea of getting dismembered.”

            Knowing that it was safe for them to let their guard down just slightly, the reviewers broke their man-made barrier as they allowed themselves to deal with their next pressing issue.

            MarzGurl knelt beside Snob, carefully looking him over for even the faintest signs of life.

            “Looks like he was just knocked out,” she reported as she checked his pulse, “His breathing’s normal, and his pulse is fairly strong.”

            “That’s a good sign,” Linkara replied, wiping some dust off of his helmet.

            “We should find a portal and get back to the lab,” Critic said.

            Everyone nodded in agreement with this assessment, although they also agreed that said assessment was a foregone conclusion by this point and therefore hadn’t really needed to have been said in the first place.

            In fact, almost immediately following the villains retreat, Spoony had contacted the mad-scientists, and had now just finished a rather brief conversation regarding finding the location of the nearest portal.

The problem, as they saw it, was that their journey through this dimension had drawn them far away from their starting destination. And, even if there was another portal, there was a good chance that, considering they were going to practically carry Snob back, it’d take too long for them to make it back before it closed in on itself.

            “Okay guys,” Spoony said, “According to Insano and Professor Celluloid, finding a portal actually shouldn’t be too difficult. They said that we could probably just use the residual energy from the rift in space-time that the enemies made to open a one-way gate back to the lab.”

            “That’s great,” Linkara replied, “but, wouldn’t reopening that particular distortion just open a wormhole directly back to Malachite’s dimension instead? Or at the very least take us somewhere completely random?”

            “Eh,” the gamer shrugged, “The rules of time-space are really screwed up. Insano and the others apparently have it all figured out, though. I’m just going with it.”

            “Fair enough,” the comic reviewer agreed, also giving a half-hearted shrug.

            In all honesty, there was nothing more that Linkara wanted to do at that moment but get out of this dimension as quickly as possible. The entire experience with Tegon’s spell had kind of left a peculiar edgy feeling in the pit of his stomach. 

What exactly about the spell, he wondered, had triggered that reaction in him?

Naturally, he assumed that it had to do something with him having some magical capabilities. But, he argued he’d dealt with other magic users before, and not once had any of their spells ever made him freak out like that. What kind of magic was that, anyways? He wondered as he suppressed a shudder.

Whatever it was, he reasoned, he certainly wasn’t going to find out anything by standing around in this dimension. Perhaps he’d browse through the lab’s libraries and computer archives later and try to find something that might give him some sort of insight into the complete nature of that spell.

The wind began to swirl as a bright flash of light heralded the opening of their portal back.  With a twinge, the burning ache of fatigue caught up with his muscles, reminding him that the battle he had just fought had been rougher on him than he had previously thought.

            For now, he thought as he wearily dragged himself through the glowing wormhole, any research on this spell was going to have to be put on the back burner until later. At that moment, he thought as he rubbed aching shoulders, he was in search of two things: a hot shower and a long nap.


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